consider this my first proper photo of the week post as a resident of colorado. it’s been a long time since i lived in this state, and it’s been almost as long since i thought of this state as my home. now that i’m back, i’m butting against a strange realization that this place that i grew up isn’t quite my home. colorado has certainly changed in the last seven years, but suspect it’s my own metamorphosis during that time that’s the true catalyst for my vague lack of comfort here.
i spent four years in nebraska, but for me the rigid conservatism and anti-intellectualism that permeated the culture there was never quite offset by the quiet unconditional benefit-of-the-doubt attitude that is so characteristic of “the good life.” colorado doesn’t quite feel like home, but nebraska certainly never will.
i spent three years in chicago, and despite growing comfortable in that enigmatic broken nose of a city, i never felt at home there. people littered EVERYWHERE. Nelson Algren said that “loving chicago is like loving a woman with a broken nose — you may well find lovelier lovelies, but never a lovely so real.” perhaps, but i sure wish this lovely would have some more respect for herself.
i suppose this lack of a home is more of an internal problem than it is an external one. on the path of the psyche that is kyle, i started in a warm, loving environment that was, without a doubt, home. as the black blacks and the white whites revealed themselves as nothing more than bolder shades of grey, however, home became less obvious. it was no longer defined by the world around me as it was by my reaction to that world. home is another name for the environment where you’re you. and as you move from one place to the next, from one set of cultures to another, it takes an interesting breed of courage to be at home in a culture that grinds with that youness that you are.
i don’t have that courage yet, and i’m not sure constantly throwing myself in new environments is the best way to develop it. the self-preservation instinct is strong, after all. but while the immersion technique is not often comfortable, it is generally effective. i’m just making this life up as i go along, and i suppose i don’t have any other option than to try new things and see what happens.
so i’m going to give this thing a shot and see what happens.